A painting by artist Banksy honoring UK healthcare workers has set a new record for the artist, selling for £ 16.7 million ($ 23.1 million) at Christie’s in London.
“Game Changer,” which the enigmatic street artist donated to Southampton University Hospital (UHS) in May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic, shows a young child playing with a Red Cross toy nurse wearing a cape. and a mask. In a nearby basket, the Batman and Spiderman figures lay forgotten.
The work sold for more than four times its high estimate of £ 3.5 million ($ 4.8 million) and nearly doubled Banksy’s previous record, the 2009 oil-on-canvas “Decentralized Parliament” of British politicians as chimpanzees. in the House of Commons, which sold for £ 9.9 million ($ 13.6 million) at Sotheby’s in 2019.
Banksy’s ‘Game Changer’ Credit: From Christie’s
Until now, “Game Changer” had only been seen on display at the hospital (now a replay will replace it). When Banksy donated the work, he included a note that said, “Thank you for all that you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s just black and white.”
Christie’s has described the work as a catch “The simple and universal values that have come to the fore during the pandemic: family, home, and time with loved ones.” Painting is a heartfelt moment for an artist who often plays on his sardonic appeal. In 2018, Banksy made headlines when his iconic work, “Girl With Balloon,” self-destroyed just after selling for $ 1.4 million at Sotheby’s (the composition of spray paint on canvas, which had been half-shredded in its frame , was later renamed “Love is in the Bin”).